The world, for the most part, is in mourning for the horrific attacks that took place in London this morning. In case you were sleeping, England’s biggest city was rocked by a series of bombings on the mass-transit system that took at least 37 lives and injured upwards of 700 people. An al-Qaeda group is claiming responsibility for the suicide bombings on three Underground stations and one doubledecker bus.
Tooling around the ‘Net, I have seen the usual sad commentary from reputedly decent people: Let’s strike back with impunity and viciousness. Let’s get revenge for Britain’s 9/11. And to hell with “political correctness,” let’s round up Muslims, shut down their businesses and mosques, and ship ’em back to their caves.
Oh my god, just deport Muslims? React viciously?
As the song goes, WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN????
Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. Al-Qaeda hit London, the West will hit back, al-Qaeda will strike again, the West will react with retaliation again, lather, rinse, repeat… And Western people and al-Qaeda will hate even more, creating more terrorists from both sides. It’s pathological!
For the record, Muslims died today too. One of the bombs went off in the Edgeware Road Underground station — which is in a predominantly Arab neighborhood. And Muslims — OF COURSE! — are condemning this condemnation-worthy outrage.
From the BBC.
From the Financial Times.
From Christianity Today.
And this June article from FrontPage Magazine.com addresses the general issue of Muslims and their condemnation of Islamicist terror.
And there is other tragic news today too: Kidnapped Egyptian envoy to Iraq, Ihab al-Sharif, is believed to be dead; a group of al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claims responsibility for the reported killing.
Muslims are dying too. They are also victims of terror. And many do condemn all this murder, all this hate.
If you are feeling vengeful today, step back and think. Today’s attacks were not against YOU, they were against all humankind, which includes Muslims. Increasing the violence and unfairly targeting our Muslim brothers and sisters will not improve a dire situation.
Retaliation doesn’t work — that should be obvious. We see the fruits of the horrific occurrences of 9/11 being used as a tool of revenge (and God knows what else). What has it gotten us? More death. More terror. Don’t let 7/7 lead to even worse events. Please. Today is a day to reach out in love to everyone, to share sadness, to think of peaceful means to beget peace. It’s clichéd but true: Our grief should not be a cry for acts of hate and retaliation and war.
The world has tried the ways of war. Unsuccessfully. For a change, as trite as this may sound, let’s try courage and try peace and nonviolence.
How? For starters, check out this excellent, if brief, thought on the nonviolent approach to terrorism from someone reluctant to label himself as pacifist.
As time allows, I will continue this theme via a series of essays on Gandhi and his ideas.